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Re: the debt deal reached Sunday night ...

Displaying poll results.
I am severely disappointed
  12355 votes / 38%
I am mildly disappointed
  4496 votes / 14%
I'm familiar with it, and ambivalent about it
  4938 votes / 15%
I am mildly happy
  1919 votes / 5%
I am wildly happy
  441 votes / 1%
What debt? Whose Deal? No idea!
  7924 votes / 24%
32073 total votes.
[ Voting Booth | Other Polls | Back Home ]
  • Don't complain about lack of options. You've got to pick a few when you do multiple choice. Those are the breaks.
  • Feel free to suggest poll ideas if you're feeling creative. I'd strongly suggest reading the past polls first.
  • This whole thing is wildly inaccurate. Rounding errors, ballot stuffers, dynamic IPs, firewalls. If you're using these numbers to do anything important, you're insane.
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Re: the debt deal reached Sunday night ...

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  • Oh look... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 01, 2011 @12:14AM (#36943636)

    ...completely manufactured "crisis" averted at the 11th hour. Really dramatic. Cue both sides claiming victory and siting crisis as "how hard they work for you!", and cable news all atwitter at the latest pre-approved storyline.

    Then when the dust settles, the democrats can go back to selling out to big media and the 'fiscally responsible' republicans can slash any spending on the poor, unless the person in the white house has R after their name, in which case they can go back to spending like drunken sailors.

  • St. Reagan (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 01, 2011 @12:32AM (#36943704)

    Saint Reagan raised the debt ceiling 18 times and none of the Republicans complained.

    He raised taxes and they called him a national hero.

    How come they're all complaining now?

    • by Demena (966987)
      However, the debt is now so high that the rest of the world wonders if you (the USA) has the capability to pay it back. I the rich are not taxed and military spending is not reigned in then is is more than possible that you do not have that capability.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Billly Gates (198444)

        "However, the debt is now so high that the rest of the world wonders if you (the USA) has the capability to pay it back."

        What you speak of is a debt per assets ratio. We are quite good compared to the rest of the world I heard we are about 90 GDP to Debt, I was told it was more like 60 when I asked a family member who is an expert in this area so my numbers could be off. In comparison Japan is 180! Greece was close to 140 when all hell broke loose.

        If any nation that should lose its AAA rating it should be J

  • Call me mean... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 01, 2011 @01:05AM (#36943824)

    Call me mean and crazy, but as my investing timeline is more on the scale of decades rather than years or months, I was kind-of hoping for some kind of crash in the stock market, so I could buy more stock. But, deep-down, there was part of me that realized there was no way that either party was going to let the markets crash, even if it meant signing something at 11:30pm the night before. I reasoned this due to the government's response to the threat of a shutdown earlier this year. Notice how at the eleventh hour, everyone finally agreed to something. They weren't willing to upset elderly people. I guess in the grand scheme of things, it's probably for the best that the markets didn't crash.

    What's fascinating is how President Obama specifically said he wouldn't guarantee that Social Security checks go out in the event of a default. It's like he was *trying* to scare the elderly citizens of this country into twisting their representatives' and senators' arms.

    And there's a *really* fascinating article at MSNBC [msn.com] which suggests that a better figure for evaluating our fiscal crisis is the fiscal gap. Some economists have discounted all the future payments and future revenues for the government, and evaluated the net present value. If their calculations are correct, it suggests the gap between our revenues and expenses to the time horizon is $211 trillion. (That is "trillion," not "billion.")

    There's an apocryphal quote floating around on the internet, allegedly by a Scottish historian. It's probable that he never said it, but I think the idea is true: A democracy can only last until the people realize they can vote for whoever promises them the most goodies. The MSNBC article references this idea: We're reaching a point where we're going to have so many old people, they can vote against anyone who will reform (or "cut") Social Security and Medicare.

    Sorry to sound to pessimistic, but we, my friends, are *doomed*.

    • Fixing social security:
      1) Raise the age for benefits. (People are healthier longer, this makes sense and is fair)
      2) Means-test the benefit. Why are we transferring money from the working class (who are poor) to rich people?
      3) Remove the $105k income cap. Tax all the way up. (This will be unpopular with people who worship the rich, of which we have many in this country seemingly.)

      But measure 1) will work all by itself and we have done it and can keep doing it, and only harm future beneficiaries.

      Medicar

      • by jvonk (315830) on Monday August 01, 2011 @06:54PM (#36953746)
        Your approach makes sense, but have you ever wondered why there is no means testing and a limited wage basis? Hint: it's not a plutocratic plot.

        Ever since SS was instituted it has been defined as tantamount to a pension. This is why there is no means testing for benefits and a limited wage basis: it is a pension that workers pay into that has a maximum benefit payout [ssa.gov] based on how much the worker paid in over their life. If you take the present value of an annuity that pays out based on what the worker has paid in (with a max benefit cap), then it is a simple actuarial calculation to determine what the maximum pay-in should be, and this is how the inflation-indexed ~105k wage basis is derived. If a worker pays in more, they get paid more out—directly correlated to the amount they paid. I am hard-pressed to believe this is unfair.

        Now, if SS is going to be redefined as pure wealth redistribution program funded by payroll taxes, then having means testing and an unlimited wage basis will be self-consistent. Of course, this will nullify the ability for people to claim, "I paid in, so I deserve to receive a payout" because means testing and eliminating wage basis decouples the received benefit from the individual's contribution. In this case, SS would essentially become yet another welfare program like Medicare (where payout is unrelated to pay-in). Changing the conceptual basis of the program cuts both ways.

        It would be great if SS automatically indexed an increasing retirement age to increasing life expectancy, much like the wage basis is indexed to inflation. Given the SSA-reported life expectancies [ssa.gov] for 1940 vs. 1990, the retirement age should already be up to 68+.

        I firmly believe that SS benefits will be paid with Monopoly-grade money by the time I retire (eg. by deliberately understating CPI for years) and the entire system will become a joke. I think most people in my generation are seriously looking into alternative plans to ensure our basic costs of living are covered rather than relying on SS.
  • by cosm (1072588) <thecosm3&gmail,com> on Monday August 01, 2011 @01:11AM (#36943850)
    Manufactured crises, much ado about nothing. You know the economy is in the shitter when hour by hour headlines change global markets by full percentage points. How is that economic stability? Raising the ceiling only differs the inevitable, unless they actually pay down the debt while simultaneously reduce spending to a level that is equal or less than revenue. End the wars, get rid of tax havens, cut the bureaucratic contractor bilking and home-district good 'ole boy network profit mongering. These fuckers pushed this so late to make it dramatic and make it a 'saving the day again' scene for the media. Grandstanding. Will the economy get magically better now? Hell, over the next 20 years? I think you know the answer. You and I and everybody elses living conditions will not get any better, that I can assure you.

    Public education will still be shitty.
    Jobs will still go overseas to due tax policies.
    University education cost will still increase.
    Inflation will only get worse.
    Energy cost and oil dependence will get worse.
    Population growth will become unsustainable.
    We will still be waging multiple fronts in the middle-east.
    Banks will still make massive amounts of money. This was about the banks and the investors not losing out.

    America is New Rome.
    • Come on man, even the depression ended. The debt is worse than it seems by the official number.......if the government kept their books the way any public company does by law, the debt would be in the hundred trillions by now. The debt deal does nothing to fix that problem, it is just a bandaid.

      But so what? We may end up with inflation, or going back to some kind of gold standard, but we will survive. America may remain the dominant country in the world, or it may fall into second or third place, but it
      • by Pieroxy (222434)

        As likely as not, with our improvements in technology, and our growing world peace (really, look up the war stats), the next fifty years will be better than the last.

        Uhhh, I seriously doubt that. And I don't live in the US (France) and I even believe it's going to be equivalent in the US and in the EU. Nations borrow and borrow and borrow, like never before. But what's the point really?

        I borrowed, and it was to buy a house. Hence, I made a promise to my bank to repay 1000€ per month for the next 20 years. Why did I do that? Because I wanted a house now and I didn't have the money now. It was a one time thing. I will repay that debt for the next 19 years, and all is

    • by glwtta (532858)
      America is New Rome.

      Beats the shit out of being New Just-About-Anything-Else.

      What would you rather be, New Carthage?
  • by Chrisje (471362) on Monday August 01, 2011 @01:28AM (#36943896)

    To be quite frank, I had a blast in the US. Recently I took my third trip over there. The first two trips were to Atlanta and Roseville, they were business trips where I had the opportunity to spend some extra leisure time in between weeks. This trip was the mother of all road trips, 4000 miles across NC, SC, GA, FL, LA, AL, MS and back to GA.

    The thing that struck my wife and I on this trip was the enormous discrepancy between rich and poor. New Orleans, Birmingham and many places on the road were desperately poor while over in Atlanta you'll find neighborhoods that are bursting with money. Also, the difference between FL versus MS, AL, LA was quite shocking. Furthermore, you could just see and smell where the money was within a given state. The point is that the US is segregated. Segregated based on wealth, which in some cases but not all, means segregated along racial lines. The cleaners and waiters are much more often black or hispanic than white, and quite frankly it is a bit disgusting to see.

    For the life of me I do not understand how a civilized human being can live in the lap of luxury while his or her neighbor is living in squalor and filth.

    Having said that, I was unimpressed with the state of the infrastructure. Roads are simply not as they are in Europe. The French péage, the Dutch highways, the German autobahn, the Swiss road network and the Scandinavian roads are just a lot better for various reasons.

    Furthermore I was unimpressed with the level of education. The amount of people I ran into that believe dinosaurs roamed the earth 6000 years ago and who thought "Holland" was a town in Michigan, not to mention the amount of people who thought they traveled a lot because they saw 10 US States or more, is staggeringly high.

    All this while we met a frightful amount of good, nice people. People who deserve a better educational system, a re-built home, a prospect for a future and most of all: Better food. The food in the US is horribly expensive if you want fresh produce. Stuff that is boxed and processed can be bought for no money what so ever. So it's really not difficult to see how overweight is a class issue, really.

    This brings us to three subjects:

    1) Why is it so hard to not let the Texas board of education decide what is said about evolution and history in schools across the nation? Don't you people realize those idiots are insane fundamentalists?

    2) Why is it so hard to realize the premise of universal health care is quite civilized? It's not Stalinistic, it's not Satanic, it's the Civilized Option. Someone gets sick, the country makes sure there is adequate help and insurance for them. Common sense.

    3) Why is it so hard to realize the Bush tax cuts are completely uncivilized? Your working class is paying the bills for three wars you shouldn't even be in to begin with, and you are hell bent on letting the richest people in the country screw you out of billions of dollars of tax money?

    I cannot believe that you're letting a black mother of three children in Poplarville, MS work three jobs in order to be able to put said kids through a mediocre school, while the fat cats are getting bonuses, tax breaks and all the choice in the world.

    Uncivilized. Plain and simple.

    My wife is Israeli, and she had never been to the States. She also had a blast. But this is what she had to say:

    "It's not the land of opportunity. It's the land of taking advantage of whomever you can."

    • 1) Why is it so hard to not let the Texas board of education decide what is said about evolution and history in schools across the nation? Don't you people realize those idiots are insane fundamentalists?

      Texas has the largest public school district, so the book writers and publishers pander to Texas. Then they sell those same books to other states, because economies of scale and of monopolies. If you only have a handful of publishers, and they all print the same stuff, you're out of options. The way education laws are written in other states, they favor established publishers. So you can just print up your own stuff.

      I almost hope all this 2012 scaremongering comes true, because by Zeus, we deserve it.

      • by ShakaUVM (157947)

        >>Texas has the largest public school district

        The largest district...? The State of Hawaii is actually all one school district, but what I think you mean is that Texas has more K12 students. Let's check numbers:
        Texas: 5 million K-12 students
        California: over 6 million K-12 students (http://data1.cde.ca.gov/dataquest/DQ/EnrTimeRptSt.aspx?Level=State&cChoice=TSEnr1&cYear=2010-11&cLevel=State&cTopic=Enrollment&myTimeFrame=S)

        In terms of influence, California surpassed Texas back in the

    • by dcollins (135727)

      Thank you for writing that. Great to have a broader perspective.

    • by assertation (1255714) on Monday August 01, 2011 @02:52AM (#36944220)

      My wife is Israeli, and she had never been to the States. She also had a blast. But this is what she had to say:

      "It's not the land of opportunity. It's the land of taking advantage of whomever you can."

      No disrespect. Does anyone else see the irony in this quote?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Glock27 (446276)

      (Sorry to not respond to the first part of your post, it's late - glad you did enjoy your trip over here.)

      This brings us to three subjects:

      1) Why is it so hard to not let the Texas board of education decide what is said about evolution and history in schools across the nation? Don't you people realize those idiots are insane fundamentalists?

      I presume you're equating this to the poor state of education here in the US? First of all, it's not so much that way - for instance California books and teaching ideas are also used on a widespread basis. Truthfully, I ascribe the pitiful state of American educational effectiveness to a few things:

      • Bad teachers. Sometimes they're bad because of the system they're in, sometimes it's innate lack of talen
      • by toxickitty (1758282) on Monday August 01, 2011 @04:36AM (#36944600)

        It may be "common sense" to you, but I don't see how you don't realize what you just said is impossible - at least in the sense of providing the "best" healthcare for everyone. There are documented horrible failures of British and Canadian healthcare for instance - you are at the mercy of a bureaucracy in order to get treatment. Often the wait times are measured in months. There is a reason so many wealthy foreigners come to America for major procedures.

        Just as with your ideas about taxing the rich, there are unintended consequences. Many doctors are quitting the profession because of 0bamacare.

        Yeah cause I am sure some lapses in health care are much better than having no chance of having it all, give me a break.

        • AND if you are really rich, you can go with private health insurance suppliers. Yes, even in the UK.

          • by Splab (574204)

            Same in Denmark. Public health care sucks, but it's there, if you have something non life threatening you are in for a bit of a wait. Life threatening stuff will get you through faster.

            We have the option of doing private health care, a lot of business are now providing their work force with that since a sick employee doesn't produce anything.

            It sucks for you if you break you foot (2 month wait time for orthopedic consultancy, which is more than the healing time - been there) and aren't covered for private,

      • by toppavak (943659) on Monday August 01, 2011 @09:11AM (#36946174)

        Many doctors are quitting the profession because of 0bamacare.

        Citation please? Most of my doctor friends (I work in a science department at a medical school) are actually staunchly pro-single payer / nationalized health. The data [reuters.com] seems to back that up as well.
        The original article [springerlink.com] has some more detailed information.

      • by kiwix (1810960) on Monday August 01, 2011 @10:01AM (#36946778)

        I would have to guess you're woefully uninformed about the tax structure in the US. About 50% of the population (on the low-income side) pays zero income tax - including your "black mother of three" - in fact she probably gets the "earned income credit", which is a chunk of "free money" - courtesy of those who do pay taxes. The top 1% of earners pays 38% of income tax (yes, right now with the Bush cuts in effect). The top 10% of earners pay just under 70% of the total income tax collected.

        Income tax is not the only tax. I don't know much about the tax structure in the US, but my guess is that if you look at the total taxation (at least include sales tax), your will get completely different results...

        According to the Tax Foundation [taxfoundation.org], the top 40% earn 62.5% of the income and pay 71.2% of the total taxes. That does not seem disproportionate to me. (Full disclaimer: I'm French, therefore I'm a communist to you).

        • by Burning1 (204959)

          According to the Tax Foundation, the top 40% earn 62.5% of the income and pay 71.2% of the total taxes. That does not seem disproportionate to me. (Full disclaimer: I'm French, therefore I'm a communist to you).

          This ignores the fact that the top 1% control more than 50% of the assets, and that the bottom 90% own only 14% of the assets. Remember that income is not the same as wealth, and that there are plenty of ways to accumulate wealth without having high income.

      • by jomama717 (779243) <jomama717@gmail.com> on Monday August 01, 2011 @10:59AM (#36947586) Journal

        The other point is that low taxes greatly enhance productivity and job creation, whereas if you raise taxes on "the rich", "the rich" will either retire, move out of the country, or find a way to shelter their money - none of which increases tax revenues. In fact, in all of those cases revenues fall.

        I challenge you to provide evidence *not* produced by a right-wing think tank of this "trickle down" effect. If this were true why have we not seen wild job growth since the beginning of the Bush tax cuts? Why is it always assumed that the rich will naturally invest their massive accumulated wealth into ventures that lead to US job creation? Evidence suggest they save most of it, and earn yet more money off of it by saving it in such a way that they earn the most interest and are taxed the least. Great for them, that's the way the system is set up and they are taking full advantage.

        Unchecked capitalism is a dead end. It requires limitless growth - the path to utopia is not the continued creation of wal-marts for the poor and middle class to buy ever more worthless shit from rich companies run by rich people.

      • by kypper (446750) on Monday August 01, 2011 @11:11AM (#36947774)

        The top 1% earn 24% of all income. Top 1% represents over $350,000, but we know of individuals who are making millions. Billions. The remaining 9% of your top 10? They make what, $100-$350K/year? They pay between 28-33%/year, or $28K-$115K, leaving them with between 72-115.5K. That's still pretty decent bank.

        For one of those biggier bonus folks (let's say a nice $1M a year to be conservative), we're looking at $770K of wealth left.
        See the difference?

        If we taxed those guys 50%, they'd STILL have far more than the remaining 99%.
        That's the point.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by KermodeBear (738243)

          So when someone is able to succeed they should be punished by having a larger share taken away? One should be able to enjoy the fruits of their labor.

          I'm not against taxation as it is necessary for roads, police, etc., but I am against one person being taxed at 50% while another gets a free ride simply because one is more successful and productive than the other.

          • I'm not against taxation as it is necessary for roads, police, etc., but I am against one person being taxed at 50% while another gets a free ride simply because one is more successful and productive than the other.

            So I take it you're in favor of taxing capital gains [wikipedia.org] at the same rate as income?

            • I'm against capital gains taxes as currently structured. Period.

              I'd love to see a sliding scale of taxations based on how long you owned the asset/investment. Longer term holding = lower tax rates.

              Reward investing(long term), punish speculation (short term). No more bubbles please.

          • by hedwards (940851)

            No, those that have more to lose by the government dissolving should pay more. Those that have benefited from the existence of society should be required to give something back so that the next generation has those same opportunities.

            People don't become rich based upon their own labors, nobody in their right mind would suggest such a thing because it's asinine. You become wealthy by having your money work for you. Usury was banned by Christianity for a long time for more or less that precise reason, it allo

          • by dcollins (135727)

            "So when someone is able to succeed they should be punished by having a larger share taken away?"

            Funding civilization is not a "punishment".

            As mechanization and computerization increase, the wealthy have greater opportunity for control of profit, capital gains, intellectual property, media ownership, economies of scale, etc. The options over time then are either (a) dial up socialism, or (b) turn into a plutocracy with a large shanty-town lower class.

            Alternatively, I would be happy to have 100% estate taxes

    • by mjwx (966435)

      The food in the US is horribly expensive if you want fresh produce.

      As an Aussie visiting Europe I thought the same of your meat prices, They were easily 30-40% higher then Aussie prices. But then again your fresh vegies are cheaper. With Banana's reaching A$15 a KG this year due to the floods in Queensland.

      All this while we met a frightful amount of good, nice people.

      The overwhelming majority of Yanks are great people, you begin to ask yourself "where did GWB actually come from" after meeting some actu

    • by ShakaUVM (157947) on Monday August 01, 2011 @05:11AM (#36944694) Homepage Journal

      >>The amount of people I ran into that believe dinosaurs roamed the earth 6000 years ago

      So you were walking around asking people when dinosaurs roamed the earth? I find that implausible, otherwise - in all my years of living in America, I can't think of one time when, say, a waitress at IHOP casually remarked to me, "Hey, you know the earth is only 6000 years old?"

      >>who thought "Holland" was a town in Michigan, not to mention the amount of people who thought they traveled a lot because they saw 10 US States or more, is staggeringly high.

      It's always a safe bet to bet on ignorance, though if Holland actually is a town in Michigan, what are you complaining about? There's also a Paris in Texas and a lot of other states as well. And to be fair, France is the size of Texas, and England the size of California, so 10 US States is like visiting half of Western Europe. =)

      >>The thing that struck my wife and I on this trip was the enormous discrepancy between rich and poor

      You've never been to the UK, then? I'd never seen so many poor or unemployed (and hopeless) people walking around as when I visited Wales for a bit of a castle tour, our drove around in Belfast, or walked around in Ilford / Gant's Hill.

      Actually, what really bothered me about the UK was how a middle class existence so closely resembled how our poor people live there. They live in endless rows of identical flats, each of which looks crummier than the Section 8 housing we provide to poor people around here, but probably costs 10x as much.

      >>1) Why is it so hard to not let the Texas board of education decide what is said about evolution and history in schools across the nation? Don't you people realize those idiots are insane fundamentalists?

      1) Don't believe everything you read on Slashdot these days. California is more influential than Texas in textbook design these days.
      2) You should read Slashdot more often. These "insane fundamentalists" struck down the anti-evolution measure by a unanimous vote.

      >>3) Why is it so hard to realize the Bush tax cuts are completely uncivilized? Your working class is paying the bills for three wars you shouldn't even be in to begin with, and you are hell bent on letting the richest people in the country screw you out of billions of dollars of tax money?

      For fuck's sake, stop getting all of your news from HuffPo. Corporations and Wealthy individuals (top 20%) pay 75% of all income tax in America. The bottom quintile pays NEGATIVE 10%. The middle 60% of America pays the remaining 25%.

      I know it's rough when facts don't align properly with your preset sense of reality, but I'm fucking tired of people spreading the lies that the working poor bear the income tax burden in America. When I made 18k a year as a grad student, I paid money into retirement/SSN/Medicare, but I didn't pay anything in taxes.

      >>People who deserve a better educational system

      It sounds to me like your country needed a better educational system.

      Oh, snap.

      • by phaunt (1079975) *

        For fuck's sake, stop getting all of your news from HuffPo. Corporations and Wealthy individuals (top 20%) pay 75% of all income tax in America. The bottom quintile pays NEGATIVE 10%. The middle 60% of America pays the remaining 25%.

        That still leaves 10% then :-P

      • by xaxa (988988)

        And to be fair, France is the size of Texas, and England the size of California, so 10 US States is like visiting half of Western Europe. =)

        (This is true in the geographic sense, but I think an American who visits Mexico and Panama could claim to have travelled more than a European who's visited a few other European countries, which is better than an American visiting 10 states. The human/social differences are greater.)

        The thing that struck my wife and I on this trip was the enormous discrepancy between rich and poor

        You've never been to the UK, then? I'd never seen so many poor or unemployed (and hopeless) people walking around as when I visited Wales for a bit of a castle tour, our drove around in Belfast, or walked around in Ilford / Gant's Hill.

        US unemployment is actually very slightly higher than UK unemployment: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-12935003 [bbc.co.uk] http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/10604117 [bbc.co.uk]
        They're pretty similar though, so I think the only difference is the visibility

        • by ShakaUVM (157947)

          >>This is true in the geographic sense, but I think an American who visits Mexico and Panama could claim to have travelled more than a European who's visited a few other European countries, which is better than an American visiting 10 states. The human/social differences are greater.)

          Sure, but it's also a lot easier for a European to visit another country than it is for an American living in Nebraska or something. If you live in London, you can be in Paris via the Eurostar chunnel in what? Two hours?

    • by Chris Mattern (191822) on Monday August 01, 2011 @07:15AM (#36945238)

      who thought "Holland" was a town in Michigan,

      Well, Holland *is* a town in Michigan...

    • To be quite frank, I had a blast in the US. Recently I took my third trip over there.

      Wow, three trips and you completely understand the US. My hat is off to you. I'm sure I completely understand China because I took an extended trip there once.

      "Holland" was a town in Michigan, not to mention the amount of people who thought they traveled a lot because they saw 10 US States or more, is staggeringly high.

      Holland [google.com] IS a town in Michigan. It also happens to be some other things as well. You CAN travel a lot and never leave the US. Have you looked at a map? The US is enormous. France is roughly the size of Texas. The fact that it all happens to be in a single country doesn't mean that you haven't traveled a lot. Hell you could spend your whole li

      • by moonbender (547943) <moonbender@NOSPAM.gmail.com> on Monday August 01, 2011 @09:21AM (#36946296)

        It seems strange that you could travel around Europe which is about the same size and people would call you "well traveled" but if you cover the same distance in the US you haven't gone anywhere? Ridiculous.

        Eh, being "well traveled" is pretty meaningless. You can travel a lot, even through regions that are culturally extremely different, but only see tourist landmarks and, otherwise, not learn a lot. You can also travel around a relatively small, homogeneous area and learn a lot. However, that's quite difficult and time consuming. It's probably easier to get a sense of the world -- living conditions, cultural traditions (including religion and cuisine), traffic laws, political climate -- when you travel to really different countries and step outside your hotel without a guide. You're 100% correct, though, that traveling around (at least: Western) isn't very different from traveling around the US in terms of drastically new things you see.

        You will find the exact same thing in any country in the world you care to visit. There are enormous discrepancies between rich and poor everywhere. If you haven't seen them, you haven't been looking.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_income_equality [wikipedia.org]

  • We have a debt/deficit problem (once again) and it should be fixed. My preference would be to (a) end foreign wars and major surveillance operations, and (b) raise taxes on the wealthy to something like 1930-1980 levels (i.e., ~90% income). Granted that won't happen; a balanced negotiation would be half cuts and half tax increases, and I could live with that. But unfortunately we've successfully been held hostage by the hard-right wing (again). What we've gotten is the opposite of a middle-ground settlement

    • We have a debt/deficit problem (once again) and it should be fixed.

      Liken this to being grossly overweight. The cause is the same and the solution is the same too. Just change spending for eating and every doctor on the planet will tell you (in a chorus if you ask nicely) that there is only one solution and it's a very, very simple one.

      Until america and other countries, too learn to balance inputs and outputs, the fat^H^H^H debt problem will only increase. You can't continue eating more calories than you use up - you can't continue spending more money than you make. So ti

  • by Chrisq (894406) on Monday August 01, 2011 @07:13AM (#36945228)
    I was hoping for no deal and a dollar crash. That way we could have had a cheap holiday to Disnelyand.
  • by knghtrider (685985) on Monday August 01, 2011 @07:32PM (#36954098) Homepage
    I'd like to raise my personal debt ceiling as well and just print my own money..
  • by Lumpy (12016) on Tuesday August 02, 2011 @09:21AM (#36958734) Homepage

    That those idiots in Washington can't understand you can not fix a budget without increasing taxes. It was the idiot move of cutting taxes left and right over the past 12 years that started this frigging mess.... oh and the silly war on the middle east thing we still have going.

  • Vote Third Party (Score:4, Insightful)

    by fallen1 (230220) on Tuesday August 02, 2011 @01:15PM (#36961830) Homepage

    If there was ever a time where it is plainly evident to the majority of the Citizens of the United States of America that our career (and just voted in) politicians on BOTH sides ultimately do not truly care or wish to represent their constituents, this "crisis" over the debt is it.

    This is the time to increase how many sides there are in politics of all levels - from local to national. We need more accurate representation across the board - this country is not just Democrats and Republicans. It hasn't been for a long time. Of course, the current party in power (because there is very little difference these days between Dems and Repubs) wants to remain in power and thus there are high barriers of entry for the so-called Third Parties. NOW is the time for Americans to push for those barriers to get on tickets to be removed. NOW is the time for those who truly want to see better debate and more accurate representation of their concerns to let their voices be heard. NOW is the time to throw that straw-man argument everyone kicks around when a third party is mentioned right back out there - A Vote for Democrats and Republicans is a Wasted VOTE!

    Bring some sanity to American political system by bringing in NEW points of view - Green, Libertarian, Populist, and many others - to the table. Now is truly the time for a change and one which could help the United States move forward - not stagnate, which is what we're doing under our two party system. With the amount of dissatisfaction among the populace, it could happen. The makings of opening our political process are there, waiting for those of us interested in a new path and some actual change in the status quo.

    I have no desire to hold an office because, frankly, that kind of power scares me. Representing, _truly_ representing, the hopes, fears, concerns, and wishes of those constituents who helped put you into that office? Yeah, that weighs on a person I would think. With that said, if it would help break open the system and start the movement I spoke of above, I would willingly submit and run for an office - with the full disclosure that I do NOT care who helped me get into office, I will do my best to represent the will (of the majority) of the the people while also representing the party and, of course, my beliefs (which I would share openly).

God is real, unless declared integer.

 



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